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Barrister, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 38183
Experience:  16 yrs estate law, real estate. Wills/Trusts/Probate
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In 2012, my father died. He left a will with sister as administrator. She declared $253,

Customer Question

In 2012, my father died. He left a will with sister as administrator. She declared $253,000 in assets. However; public record indicated acquisition of property 4 yrs prior to death, along with a home that was not declared. All bank accounts were set up within 3 yrs of his death, however not completed listing father and daughter but POD was not checked on documents. House transferred within 10 days of his death. Due to a statement of assets that did not include all and the fact that my lawyer would not argue the band documents due to being on the board, my sister was allowed to not have to file probate and refused to administer my father's Will, her lawyer stating all assets had been transferred, therefore there was no Will to administer and Probate was not filed. Is this correct? Thanks,
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 2 years ago.
Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can..Was sister listed as a joint tenant on the real estate deeds along with father?.Was she also listed as a joint owner on any bank accounts?.Did your lawyer research the accounts and property records to see if this was the case?.Did father have any other assets like personal property in the house, vehicles, furniture, guns, jewelry, etc.?.If so, what happened to it?..thanksBarister
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
She was listed on the account cards, however; the boxes were not checked such as "Payable on death" The dates on the signature line of individuals was not completed. She was a listed on the deed on the property bought in 2007 from my fathers money, and she was not listed on his house until 10 days before he died. The house was furnished, he had guns and other valuables. None of this was included in the report she filed with her attorney. He was unaware of those items. She did not file probate. Again, concerning the bank documents, when I questioned them, my lawyer stated he was on the bank board and if I was going to contest them, he would have to recluse himself. Since the accounts were mentioned in the beginning, I would think he should have let me know in the beginning concerning his position. It is a small town and no one wants to be out of step, so I just accepted it. However I have a signed statement by my sister concerning the assets which did not include the above items purchased with my father's money. Also, I thought there was a time frame that assets could be transferred before they could not be considered in Probate? Probate, I do not think was ever filed, since I did not get a copy of any information or see any paper adds.? Thanks, tv
Expert:  Barrister replied 2 years ago.
Ok, if she was listed on the deed as a "joint tenant" with father on the accounts and deeds then when father passed, she would have instantly become the sole owner of those assets as they would have transferred without the need for probate.
The POD designation is only if someone wants an account to be accessible to someone after their death. But if you add someone to your deeds or accounts as a joint owner, then they have an immediate ownership interest that turns into sole ownership if the other owner dies.
As for the personal property, that is something that wouldn't be covered by any joint tenancy and it would have to go through probate and descend according to his will.
So if a probate case was never filed, then there is nothing that would prevent you from doing so now and forcing this all out into the open and holding sister accountable for what it appears like is embezzling at least some of the estate assets.